Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Adam Cooperstein

   Adam Cooperstein.
   Like my own body, my name is something that I was born with, and have needed to more or less accept. Until recently, I really haven't thought that deeply aboout it, but just seem to have become accustomed to it. When I use the word accustomed here, I mean it more in the sense of indoctrinated.
   For many years I felt quite ashamed of my name, especially the surname, as I wished that it sounded somehow less ethnic.
   When I was growing up, I wished I had a last name like Jones or Smith, and while I no longer feel so uncomfortable at the sound of it, trying to getting a better sense of my association with it, and how I represent it (or vice versa) has taken regular and deep looking at it on my part.
   By employing different methods to loosen my own conditioning to the words Adam Cooperstein has been helpful, and I've found that photographing it, as written by myself and by others, has been particularly useful. Taking pictures seems to give me a kind of objective distance that is sometimes difficult to achieve otherwise.
   Yesterday morning, as I thought about these things, I wondered about my father, and if he too had ever thought about these things. Was he ever embarrassed about it, or wonder if it accurately stood for what he felt himself to be?
   It is a kind of cultural given that parents are proud (I assume to varying degrees) of their offspring, but I wonder to what extent they think about the surname aspect of this connection. For example, is it ordinary for a man to look past the pride of passing on his own name, and think about the fact that this new person will now be tied to it?
   Although growing up without a name would surely make some forms of identification quite difficult for a young person, I wonder if it could help one to figure out who they are for themselves, without having to adapt to something that they've been branded with.
   While I'm aware, probably for the first time in a very concrete way, that I am free to change my name, as well as my body, it just seems like I would be supplanting one older definition for a newer one. Still, I would in a sense  represent or be represented by that word or words.
   Although difficult and frightening, might it not be wonderful to be that much less defined in the world?

No comments:

Post a Comment